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Category Archives: Cubs

Milt Pappas – 1973 Topps #70

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MiltPappas_73topps#70_a Milton Steven “Milt” Pappas (born Miltiades Stergios Papastergios on May 11, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional baseball pitcher. A 17-year veteran, Pappas, nicknamed “Gimpy,” pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. Pappas pitched in 520 games, starting 465, with 209 wins, 164 losses, 43 shutouts, 1728 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 3186.0 innings pitched.
In 1970, the Braves pulled Pappas from their rotation after only three starts, after he compiled a 6.06 ERA and allowed six home runs. On June 23, they sold him to the Chicago Cubs, where he got another chance to prove he was still a major league starter. Pappas posted a 7–2 record with a 2.36 ERA at home and a 10–8 record with a 2.68 ERA overall. In 1971, Pappas went 17–14 with a 3.51 ERA. On September 24 of that year, against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, Pappas struck out three batters (Greg Luzinski and Don Money) on nine pitches in the fourth inning of a 6–1 loss, becoming the 10th National League pitcher and the 16th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. Five days later, Pappas was again part of baseball history, he was responsible for Ron Hunt’s 50th hit by pitch of the season, which broke the single-season record of 49 set by Hughie Jennings in 1896. Pappas complained to home plate umpire Ken Burkhart that the pitch had been over the plate, and that Hunt had made no effort to get out of the way. Pappas’s manager on the Cubs, Leo Durocher, had unkind words for Pappas in his memoir Nice Guys Finish Last.
On September 11, 1982, MiltPappas_73topps#70_bPappas’ wife, Carole, disappeared after leaving the couple’s home in the Farnham subdivision in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. For five years, no sign was found of her car, clothing, or body. In 1987, almost five years to the day Mrs. Pappas disappeared, workers draining a shallow pond only four blocks from the Pappas home discovered the car Mrs. Pappas had been driving, a white and burgundy 1980 Buick, as well as her body. A DuPage County coroner’s jury ruled the cause of death as drowning. Police theorized she mistook a driveway near the pond for a road leading to her subdivision, vaulting 25–30 feet from the bank into the pond. Carole Pappas, a recovering alcoholic, may have been drinking. However, blood alcohol content could not be confirmed.

Larry Gura – 1973 Topps #501


LarryGura_73topps#501_a Lawrence Cyril Gura (born November 26, 1947, in Joliet, Illinois) a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1985. He spent 16 years in the Major Leagues playing for the Chicago Cubs of the National League, and the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals, both of the American League. He was inducted into the inaugural Joliet Hall of Fame in Joliet, Illinois. He was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1980 when he had his finest season, finishing with an 18–10 record LarryGura_73topps#501_band a 2.95 ERA. Gura won in double figures for seven consecutive seasons for the Royals with 99 wins over that span. He particularly pestered his former team, the Yankees, against whom he went 11–6 in the regular season as a Royal. Gura was 3–0 against them in both 1979 and 1980, with five complete games, and another complete-game victory against them in the 1980 American League Championship Series. Gura finished with a 126–97 career record, 24 saves and an earned run average of 3.76.

Jim Hickman – 1973 Topps #565

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ImageJames Lucius Hickman (born May 10, 1937 in Henning, Tennessee) is a former Major League Baseball player. Hickman was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent prior to the 1956 season. He spent six seasons in the Cardinals’ farm system until he was selected by the New York Mets in the expansion draft. In his five seasons with the Mets, with whom he played 624 games, Hickman batted .241 with 60 home runs with 210 RBI.
The best season of Hickman’s career was 1970 while with the Cubs. After playing in only 198 games from 1966-1968 and batting only .237 in 1969, he hit .315 with 162 hits, 33 doubles, 32 home runs, 115 runs batted in, 102 runs scored and 93 walks—all career highs which won him the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award and placed him 8th in the NL Most Valuable Player Imageballoting. He also made his only All-Star appearance at the Cincinnati Reds’ newly opened Riverfront Stadium where, in the 12th inning, his RBI single drove in hometown favorite Pete Rose for the winning run, Rose barreling over Cleveland Indian catcher Ray Fosse to score the run. Like Hickman, the pitchers of record were also Tennessee natives: Claude Osteen, Hickman’s Dodger teammate in 1967, was the winning pitcher, while Hickman collected the walk-off single off Clyde Wright—his eventual 1970 American League Comeback Player of the Year counterpart.  In his 13-year career, Hickman batted .252 with 159 home runs and 560 RBIs in 1421 games played.

Whitey Lockman – 1973 Topps #81

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ImageCarl Walter “Whitey” Lockman (July 25, 1926 – March 17, 2009) was a player, coach, manager and front office executive in American Major League Baseball.
On October 3, 1951, Lockman scored the tying run, just ahead of Bobby Thomson, on Thomson’s home run that gave the New York Giants the National League championship – baseball’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Lockman’s one-out double against the Brooklyn Dodgers had scored Alvin Dark with the Giants’ first run of the inning, and made the score 4–2, Brooklyn. His hit knocked Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe out of the game, and, on the play, Giant baserunner Don Mueller injured his ankle sliding into third base. While Mueller  was being carried off the field to be replaced by a pinch runner, Dodger manager Chuck Dressen called on relief pitcher Ralph Branca, whose second pitch was hit by Thomson into the Polo Grounds’ lower left field stands for a game-winning, three-run homer.
Lockman’s coaching career began immediately after his playing days ended, as he joined the Reds’ staff in 1960 under skipper Fred Hutchinson. In 1961, when his old teammate Dark became manager of the Giants, Lockman became his third base coach, serving through 1964. ImageLockman then joined the Chicago Cubs as a minor league manager, coach, and, then, Director of Player Development. In July 1972, he succeeded his old mentor, Leo Durocher, as Cubs’ manager and the revitalized Cubbies won 39 of 65 games to improve two places in the standings. But losing marks in 1973 and into 1974 cost Lockman his job; he was relieved of his duties July 24, 1974 and moved back into the Chicago front office, serving as General Manager from late 1973 to late 1975. Lockman later was a player development official and special assignment scout for the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins. Lockman finished with a career major league managing record of 157–162 (.492).

Ron Santo – 1973 Topps #115


Ronald Edward Santo(February 25, 1940 – December 3, 2010) was an American professional baseball player, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and long-time radio sports commentator. He played in Major League Baseball from 1960 to 1974, most notably as the third baseman for the Chicago Cubs. A nine-time All-Star, he was a powerful hitter who was also a good defensive player, winning five Gold Glove Awards. Despite suffering from diabetes, he carefully concealed the condition for most of his career. The disease eventually necessitated the amputation of the lower half of both legs. Santo became the first player in major league history to wear a batting helmet with protective ear flaps, when in 1966, in the midst of trying to break the Cubs’ modern consecutive-game hitting streak record of 27 games (set by Hack Wilson in 1929), Santo was sidelined for nearly two weeks following a pitch thrown by the Mets’ Jack Fisher (beaning) that fractured his cheekbone and ended his consecutive playing streak. When he returned (and broke the hitting record with a 28-game streak) he was wearing an improvised ear flap on his batting helmet in order to protect the injury; ear flaps have since become standard equipment on batting helmets.

Rick Monday – 1973 Topps #44


Robert James “Rick” Monday, Jr. (born November 20, 1945 in Batesville, Arkansas) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball and is currently a broadcast announcer. From 1966 through 1984, Monday, a center fielder for most of his career, played for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics (1966–71), Chicago Cubs (1972–76) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1977–84). He batted and threw left-handed. In a 19-season career, Monday compiled a .264 batting average with 241 home runs and 775 RBI. He was selected an All-Star in 1968 and 1978.
The two most famous moments of Monday’s career were both associated with the Dodgers. In the first, on April 25, 1976, during a game at Dodger Stadium, two protesters, William Thomas and his 11-year-old son, ran into the outfield and tried to set fire to an American flag they had brought with them. Monday, then playing with the Cubs, noticed they had placed the flag on the ground and were fumbling with matches and lighter fluid; he then dashed over and grabbed the flag from the ground to thunderous cheers. He handed the flag to Los Angeles pitcher Doug Rau, after which the ballpark police officers arrested the two intruders. When he came up to bat in the next half-inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the big message board behind the left-field bleachers in the stadium flashed the message, “RICK MONDAY… YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY…” He later said, “If you’re going to burn the flag, don’t do it around me. I’ve been to too many veterans’ hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it.”Monday was a U.S. Military member himself, having served a commitment with the Marine Corps Reserve as part of his ROTC obligation after leaving Arizona State. On August 25, 2008, Monday was presented with an American flag flown over Valley Forge National Historical Park in honor of his 1976 rescue. Monday is still in possession of the flag he rescued from the protestors; he has had offers to sell it (for up to $1 million) but has declined all offers. At the September 2nd, 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers game, Rick Monday was presented with a Peace One Earth medallion by Patricia Kennedy, founder of the non-profit organization Step Up 4 Vets, for his actions on April 25, 1976.

Greg Maddux – 1991 Donruss #374

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Gregory Alan “Greg” Maddux (born April 14, 1966), nicknamed “Mad Dog” and “The Professor”, is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the first pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award for four consecutive years (1992–1995), a feat matched only by Randy Johnson (1999–2002). During those four consecutive seasons, Maddux had a 75-29 record with a 1.98 ERA, while allowing less than one runner per inning. Maddux is the only pitcher in MLB history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons. In addition, he holds the record for most Gold Gloves with eighteen. A superb control pitcher, Maddux won more games during the 1990s than any other pitcher, and is 8th on the all-time career wins list, with 355. Since the start of the post-1920 live-ball era, only Warren Spahn (363) recorded more career wins than Maddux. He is one of only 10 pitchers ever to achieve both 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts. He currently works in the Cubs’ front office.

Chicago Cubs – 1973 Topps #464

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The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago (the other being the Chicago White Sox). The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (the other being the Atlanta Braves). The team is currently owned by a family trust of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, and was previously owned by the Wrigley Company and the Chicago Tribune.
The Cubs have not won the World Series in 102 years, a longer championship drought than that of any other major North American professional sports team, and are often referred to as “The Lovable Losers” because of this distinction. They are also known as “The North Siders” because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago’s north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street. The Cubs have rivalries with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Houston Astros, and the cross-town White Sox.
The club played its first games in 1870 and was founded professionally in 1871. This makes it, along with the Braves who were also founded in 1871, one of the two oldest active teams in major North American sports. Because the Cubs lost two seasons to the Great Chicago Fire, the Braves have played more seasons, although the Cubs hold the record for oldest team still in its original city.

Billy Williams – 1973 Topps #200

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Billy Leo Williams(born June 15, 1938) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. A highly competitive player on talented Chicago Cubs teams that never reached the post-season, he finally realized his dream of playing in the post-season late in his career with the Oakland Athletics. Like his teammates Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, and Ron Santo, he never played in a World Series.

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